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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday October 21, 2021

A blockbuster final eight is set at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, complete with six Top-20 players.

Maria Sakkari advanced when Anna Kalinskaya retired 6-2, 1-0 down, sending the Greek into the final eight and also ensuring her qualification for this year’s WTA Finals at Guadalajara.

Tennis Express

"I’m very proud of myself and my team that we actually made it to the Finals for the first time, and for the first time in the history of Greece for a female tennis player,” Sakkari said after the match.

The Greek says that learning to be kind to herself was one of the reasons she was able to weather all the challenges she faced during her breakout season.

"I was very hard on myself up until this year....Growing, and also getting older and more mature, you see certain things different. Being nice to myself was one of the most important things I’ve changed this year, being nice during the games and the matches."

Sakkari is the fifth singles player to qualify - three WTA Finals spots are still left to claim.

Halep Riding High

Sakkari’s challenge will stiffen in Moscow, as her next opponent is 2013 Kremlin Cup champion Simona Halep.

The Romanian took out Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova, 6-1, 7-6(4).

Anett Kontaveit defeated Andrea Petkovic, 6-1, 6-4, to set a quarterfinal with second-seeded GarbiΓ±e Muguruza, while Marketa Vondrousova booked a date with Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova by getting past Lesia Tsurenko, 6-3, 6-3.

Here are the quarterfinal matchups for Friday at Moscow.


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